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Have courage to surrender, murder police tell car thief.

A callous car thief who ran over a Warwickshire grandfather as he tried to stop his vehicle being stolen must find the "decency and courage" to turn himself in, the detective leading the murder hunt said yesterday.

Michael Boffey, known as Mick, died instantly from head injuries after being struck by his own Land Rover as he attempted to block the gate and prevent the thief driving out of the yard at Grange Farm in Featherbed Lane, Withybrook, on Saturday morning.

At a news conference in Rugby yesterday afternoon, five members of Mr Boffey's family made an emotional appeal for help to track down the thief and an accomplice spotted in a silver saloon car which followed the stolen vehicle from the scene.

Det Chief Insp Sarah Goodall, who said the death was being treated as murder, said: "I would like to make an appeal to the driver who is responsible for this - please do not make this terrible thing, this tragedy that's happened, any worse.

"Decency and courage are what's called for now - come forward and put this family out of their misery."

She sought to reassure the community that the offence was highly unusual, pointing out that no violent crime had been reported in Withybrook so far this year.

A team of more than 20 officers is investigating the death of Mr Boffey, a pig farmer who also owned arable land.

Det Chief Insp Goodall said it was possible the prospect of his beloved border terrier, Jack, who was in the Land Rover, being stolen may have added to Mr Boffey's urgency to stop the thief.

The Land Rover was abandoned in the car park of St John the Baptist Church in Wolvey, three miles from the farm, about 30 minutes after it was stolen. Both offenders are described as white, aged between 25 and 29, with short, unkempt hair.

The car thief was stocky and wearing a pink or red T-shirt, which may have had writing on it, and a sleeveless green or brown jacket. The second man, spotted in the silver saloon car, is described as being slightly shorter with a darker complexion than the other man.

He was wearing a black T-shirt. Information to 01926 415795


Michael Boffey's wife Bernice, his children William, aged 40, Micky, aged 36, Jane, aged 38, and his sister, Helen; DCI Sarah Goodall of Warwickshire Police; Michael Boffey's wife Bernice
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 23, 2005
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